Research-Related Agreements Including MOUs and NDAs

“Research-related agreements” are research agreements other than grants and contracts, such as funded or unfunded MOUs, NDAs and data use agreements (DUAs). This table outlines some of the most commonly used research-related agreements at UT. For a more extensive list of research-related agreements, visit the Office of Industry Engagement (OIE) website.

To help expedite approval of agreements, the UT Board of Regents (BOR) provides standard sponsored research agreement templates, as well as templates for standard academic affiliations, which include international MOUs and educational agreements, that are signed by the Business Contracts Office. The length of the approval process varies depending on the complexity of the agreement, so start the process as early as possible.

Where to Go for Help

For academic exchanges related to faculty teaching or lecturing, a Dean’s request submitted to the Business Contracts Office is required to process an agreement. For student academic exchanges or mobility programs, contact the International Office. If in doubt about how to proceed, contact the Office of the VP for Research.

The procedures described below assume a substantial research component, and the use of a pre-approved BOR template, unless otherwise stated.

Although research grants are under a Principal Investigator’s direction, the grant or contractual agreement is between UT and the sponsor. Proposals, contracts, and other binding agreements can be signed by only a small number of individuals, known as authorized officials, who have the authority to sign these agreements on behalf of UT. Faculty, deans, and department chairs are not authorized officials.

New UT Research Management Suite – Agreements Module
All funded and non-funded research agreements must be submitted through the UT Research Management Suite – Agreements Module (UTRMS-Agreements). Note: IAPs (Industrial Affiliate Programs), RPAs (Research Participation Agreements), and VDAs (Various Donor Agreements) should continue to be processed in the Research Management System (RMS) until the Grants Module launch later this year.

There are many resources available on the UT Research Management Suite – Agreements site. Please Get In Touch with the Project Team to schedule training, ask a question, or provide feedback.

Type of AgreementDescriptionExamples and Resource SupportTemplates
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) involving sponsored (funded) research (a.k.a. memorandum of agreement, letter of intent)MOU is a bilateral or multilateral agreement which documents the manner in which the parties intend to pursue a common course of action. In this case action related to the research enterprise.For MOUs involving funded research, including those with a state or federal government entity or with a foreign government entity: Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP).

If MOU involves a for-profit entity or state-owned oil company: Office of Industry Engagement (OIE).
Sponsored Research Agreements
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for unfunded projects (a.k.a. memorandum of agreement, letter of intent)MOU is a bilateral or multilateral agreement which documents the manner in which the parties intend to pursue a common course of action. In this case action related to the research enterprise.Unfunded MOUs with no specific deliverables, such as materials transfers, data use, or funds transfers: Office of Sponsored Projects.Unfunded Research MOU Templates:
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)If you or your group is disclosing or receiving proprietary information, both parties (you and the external entity) are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), also referred to as a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), Proprietary Information Agreement (PIA), or similar title.The Office of Industry Engagement (OIE), the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), or the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), depending on the type of agreement:

• Contact OSP if the NDA is related to government or foundation sponsored research (including SBIR/STTR grants, I-Corps, I/UCRCs) and/or related data use agreements, or material transfers (see MTA section below).

• Contact OIE if the NDA is related to industry funded sponsored research (including state owned oil companies and IAPs) and/or related data use agreements.

• Contact OTC if the NDA is related to intellectual property or technology licenses.

• Contact Business Contracts Office if agreement is related to equipment loans, software purchases, facility use, or data use agreements for academic or departmental use.
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements
Materials Transfer Agreements (MTA)A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a legal contract governing the transfer of proprietary research material, including biological or chemical samples or materials that are infectious, hazardous or subject to special regulations, from one party to another.Outgoing MTA: use when you provide particular University materials to external entities. If in doubt, contact OSP.

Incoming MTA: use when external entities or individual researchers provide materials to you. If in doubt, contact OSP.

For compliance issues: Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).
MTA Templates
Non-Sponsored Related Agreements (Services)Agreements for procurement of goods or services are considered business contracts and are handled by the Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer’s Business Contracts Office.These agreements cannot be processed via the UT RMS. Complete and sign the Business Contract Review Form (BCRF), then submit them to the Business Contracts Office for approval.

Here are examples of service contract agreements.
Business Contracts

Relevant Websites

More About Memorandums of Understanding


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